Anti-pipeline protesters block major streets in East Vancouver during afternoon rush hour
Traffic blocked at Broadway-Commercial, Clark and East 1st Avenue during 2 hour protest
After more than a week of demonstrations to support Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs who oppose the Coastal GasLink pipeline, protesters blocked rush-hour traffic Wednesday near Broadway and Commercial Drive in Vancouver, a major transportation hub.
They stopped traffic at four major intersections in East Vancouver over two hours.
Translink announced Wednesday it has been granted an injunction in B.C. Supreme Court to prevent protesters from physically obstructing, interfering or impeding its SkyTrain facilities.
Demonstrators kept the protest moving by walking north on Clark Drive to East First Avenue then back to Commercial Drive and Broadway.
“We’re not here to block a SkyTrain, we’re here to stand up for Indigenous rights.” Demonstrators supporting <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wetsuwenten?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wetsuwenten</a> hereditary chiefs crowd Commercial and Broadway. Plan to march to Broadway and Clark. <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCAlerts?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CBCAlerts</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/cbcnewsbc?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cbcnewsbc</a> <a href="https://t.co/SBJlTmO671">pic.twitter.com/SBJlTmO671</a>—@DanBurritt
Skytrain was not affected, but public buses including the 9, 20, and 99 were forced to take detours.
Transit bus user Mike Fox said he understands why people are demonstrating, but he said they need to realize how they are affecting the lives of people who are trying to go to work.
"It's like my commute is already over an hour each way to and from work. You know it eats up my time and it's already a tough city," said Fox.
The disruption stopped buses from running on Broadway between Nanaimo and Fraser streets and on Commercial between First and 12th avenues.
Watch: Protesters take over Broadway Street on their march to Clark Drive:
The organizers of the rally, Climate Convergence Metro Vancouver, said in a press release they organized Wednesday's demonstration in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs against the Coastal GasLink Pipeline.
They're also drawing attention to Indigenous-led resistance to the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project from Alberta to Burnaby.
The Vancouver Police Department monitored the protest and diverted traffic.
Although driver Lincoln Joseph was caught up in a road closure, he voiced his support for demonstrators.
"If they don't want it, they don't want it...they don't want a pipeline unless they can prove that it's not going to be detrimental to the environment."
Similar actions across Canada
On Tuesday, supporters of the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs blocked afternoon rush hour traffic for over an hour in East Vancouver.
Similar rallies have disrupted roadways and railways across the country for more than a week, as protesters show support for several hereditary chiefs opposed to the construction of the $6.6-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline through Wet'suwet'en territory in northwestern B.C.